Wearing My Traveling Pants: Las Vegas and New Orleans

In the early months of 2018, I planned weekend trips to Las Vegas and New Orleans within 3 weeks of each other. If you are thinking to yourself, this sounds like the best idea ever, you are correct. Traveling as much as possible is on my 2018 vision board (see last post!), and though visiting these two cities in particular did nothing to forward my healthy-eating-and-living-related goals, they were super fun trips and #NORAGRETS. Each trip had a particular in mind–a journey, a quest, a DESTINATION:

Las Vegas
The trip’s main quest was to see Magic Mike Live. Believe me when I tell you that it’s not what you think it’s going to be–it’s one of the most entertaining shows I’ve seen in recent memory. You can read the full review over at Heauxs Magazine.  I lived in Las Vegas the year I turned 21, so it’s a city near and dear to my heart, full of fuzzy memories, bad decisions, and fantastic stories. This past trip is no exception.  Plus, I got to ride a mechanical bull which is my fave thing in this world (shout-out to my former Urban Rodeo League team, the Buckle Bunnies).

Vegas highlights via foto:

Art-O-Mat – local art vending machine

Year of the Dog

Neon Boneyard

New Orleans
The New Orleans quest involved taking an overnight train from Chicago to Louisiana and singing a whole lot of karaoke. I’d never traveled in a sleeper car or eaten in a dining car before; it was very White Christmas (but with no snow and lots of beer) and I loved it. I’d been to New Orleans once before and was eager to revisit it. We hit two karaoke bars (Cat’s Meow and Kajuns Pub), toured an historic cemetery, and ate a ton of amazing food. In Airbnb adventures, I now know what it sounds like when someone drops a 5-lb wad of Mardi Gras beads into a steel drum.

Feast your eyeballs on these NoLa pics:

I made a lot of “Shuffle Off to Buffalo” references for you fellow theater nerds

a surly local

tour of St. Louis Cemetery

omg we ate so much delicious food

Furreals, if I could visit both these cities every year until the day I die, I’d be so happy (but only during the winter because I can’t handle extreme hot weather, I’m basically a Stark).  Both cities are all about celebrating in the moment and indulging every whim. The kale salad in the fridge at home can wait for me.


I Heart Vegas

It can be hard to come back from vacation. Initially, it’s nice–the long plane ride is over with, I get to kiss my husband and hug my dog and cats and sleep in my own bed. But after a few days, the vacation hangover kicks in. Regular life is boring! You want to be back in vacation life, away from overflowing inboxes, dirty dishes, and piles of laundry. Vacation is a fantasy where none of those things exist, and no vacation is more pure fantasy than Las Vegas.

Sure I go out to bars in normal non-Vegas life, but not nearly as often or as late as I used to. Most Friday nights, a bottle of red on the couch with some Netflix cued up is my number one jam. In Vegas life, however, I’d look at my phone and suddenly realize it was past 4 am (6 am Chicago time),  I had a comped beer and a pile of chips sitting in front of me on the roulette table, and I barely felt tired. In Vegas life, I can fit the following into a 48-hour period: drink from a margarita tower during dinner, swap my jeans for my sister’s skirt in a casino bathroom so she could zip line several stories above Fremont Street,  lose track of time in the Flamingo pit, nearly barf up a Johnny Rocket’s BLT, hang out at the sprawling MGM sports book and cash in our aunt’s winning ticket for OSU taking the National Championship, drink a Bloody Mary in the shower, drink champagne and eat chocolate-covered strawberries while 5 girls sharing one hotel bathroom get ready for a big night out, eat dinner at a restaurant called Yolo’s, see Britney Spears in concert and watch her walk a man on a leash across stage and sing along to every single song amongst women dressed in Catholic school girl skirts or wearing plush snakes around their necks, go to a bar and ride a mechanical bull (each girl taking turns swapping out the same pair of bike shorts under our fancy going-out skirts and dresses), gamble alongside a bachelor party, see a woman sitting on a curb having a hissy fit crying “I HATE being sober!”, order a 4 am slice of pepperoni pizza and stuff it into my face while boarding the elevator as a stranger smiles at me, get one last boozy brunch with rounds of Bloody Marys and hilarious stories from the night before, hit the Britney store to drop any winnings on themed merchandise like panties that say “Work Bitch” on the butt, give goodbye hugs to the great group of girls I spent the whole weekend with, cab to the airport and finally, slump into a seat on the airplane and get some sleep.

That’s a pretty epic weekend, and pretty typical Vegas. Sorry Netflix, but you’re paling in comparison at the moment. But at least I’m wearing a t-shirt that says “Britney, bitch” while I watch.